ADRIAN GIBSON, MP for Long Island.
By TANYA SMITH-CARTWRIGHT
LONG Island MP Adrian Gibson has taken issue with Health and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville for inviting a defeated election candidate on an official trip to Long Island.
Mr Gibson said he was slighted by Dr Darville who was accompanied on the trip by Tyrel Young, the Progressive Liberal Party candidate for Long Island in the recent general election.
Dr Darville and the members of the ministry’s COVID-19 technical team recently visited islands in the southern and central Bahamas to conduct an urgent assessment of the situation there.
Mr Gibson said the opportunity provided by the minister should have been for himself, the sitting MP for Long Island.
“I believe in respect,” Mr Gibson said in the House of Assembly last week. “Though we might be on different sides politically, no member from the opposite side could say that I went to their constituency without giving them the courtesy of informing them and/or even inviting them.
“I have never visited anyone’s constituency without telling them. It is simply the decent, respectful thing to do. Worst still, to bring along the loser – the fella who lost the race – so he can pretend to be MP is an insult to the people of Long Island who voted and duly elected their MP. Make no mistake about that. It is an affront to the people of Long Island.
“That is a courtesy afforded to the MP, not the losing candidate. Given that, my interest was piqued by seeing the losing candidate Tyrel Young on an official trip to Long Island with the Minister of Health. He is not the MP. He is not an employee of the Ministry of Health.
“So, I wondered... who is paying for this? Are taxpayers being made to pay for a political poke in the eye towards the sitting MP?
“Subsequent to that trip, I noted that Mr Young has in recent days been appointed to chair the BAMSI board. So, why was he on that trip and why are taxpayers funding it? Was he detecting COVID in some unknown capacity?”
Mr Gibson said he was pleased to hear about investments in Family Island clinics and expressed interest in seeing the IDB funded works undertaken at the clinic in Deadman’s Cay, a settlement in Long Island.
“Notably, we were also promised works – from the Ministry of Health’s capital budget – to the second major clinic, ie the Simms Community Clinic,” he said. “Both clinics have fallen into a state of disrepair. We are desperately in need of consistent medicine supplies and increased nursing staff.
“In conducting renovations to our clinic, we are keen to have telemedicine and lab services put in place so that Long Islanders are not forced to fly to New Providence for medical issues that can be addressed locally and/or for blood tests and other simple lab works. This is how we decentralize healthcare on these islands.”
Mr Gibson updated Parliament on the much talked about Long Island International Airport.
“I have spoken to the member for Exuma about the new Long Island International Airport,” he said. “He has pledged that the airport will be constructed.
“When we left office, both the landside and the airside of the airport had been tendered. I am advised that the tender evaluation had been completed and, given the same, the airport was at the stage for an imminent contract signing.
“I intend to pay a great deal of attention to advocating for this much needed airport.”
Mr Gibson also spoke out about a recent Water and Sewerage Corporation notice about impending disconnections.
At the onset of the pandemic, disconnections at WSC were put on hold because so many consumers were out of work.
As the former executive chairman of WSC, Mr Gibson said a snap disconnection exercise would leave many without water.
In regards to the corporation itself, he said annual audits have all been compiled and that his team had years of audits ready to table on September 22 when they thought Parliament was to resume after the summer break. He said those audits were printed and left at WSC.